We drove through a lot of nothing on the way to Arizona. The weather was warm and for the 5-6 hours it took us to get to Flagstaff, Arizona we assumed that the weather was warm all the miles in between. However, when we arrived into Flagstaff, there was snow on the ground and snow covered mountains. We stopped to get gas and realized that it was quite frigid out! We had no idea that we would be going from a warm, dry Santa Fe to a cold, frosty climate in a town with an elevation of 7,000 feet!
The town of Flagstaff was immediately amazing. We drove through downtown keeping an eye out for possible accommodations and I spotted a hostel. We ended up staying at the De Beaux Hostel in downtown Flagstaff. It was my first hostel experience so I was a bit skeptical but it felt like a comfortable little community. We had a small…extremely small….private room with a bed and a tiny shower. It was within walking distance to everything downtown and a 90 minute drive to the Grand Canyon. Fortunately, we didn’t have such a long drive that day so we were able to check in, change and have time to get to the Grand Canyon National Park to check it out. Although we were exhausted, we are SO very glad we made the drive out there and back. I’m not going to say much about the Grand Canyon because, as cliché and cheesy at it may sound, there are simply no words. It was bigger and more majestic than anything I have ever witnessed. It is an infinite mass of carvings of land and colors. You do not have enough sight in your two eyeballs to take it all in and it is something that you will never quite wrap your brain around.
We drove an hour and a half back to our hostel, almost in silence as there isn’t much to say after witnessing such an amazing thing. Our tummies had no problems talking for us, however. It was definitely dinner time. It was, or close to, freezing temperatures by the time we got back to the hostel. We ran in to throw on more layers of clothes and head out to find food. We were excited to 1) have so many options in front of us and 2) to be able to walk the options without having to drive around aimlessly. We ended up at the Railway Brewery. Jason and a flight so that he could sample 6 of the local brews while I had a margarita (I was on a margarita mission after having Maria’s in Santa Fe). It took us all of an hour to eat and finish our drinks. Jason looked at me and said, “I’m really feeling that beer.” Apparently, according to our server, the effects of alcohol intensify with the elevation.
A gentleman came by our table and announced that they were providing free two step lessons in the back for anyone who wanted to participate and that in an hour they were going to be moving all of the tables for dancing and two-step. Jason and I toyed with the idea but opted out. We considered trying the Flag Brewery across the street but decided that it had been a long enough day and that we had a LONG drive to Los Angeles the next morning.
The next morning we got up around 6:30 and went for a run downtown. He didn’t notice as much, but the elevation definitely makes a difference when trying to get air into your lungs and breathe properly (or perhaps it was the horrible diet and lack of exercise over the past week). Jason and I went to breakfast in the common area separately. That way we could take turns showering and taking care of other restroom neccessities (sometimes you just need some privacy…haha!). Once showered, I went to the common area to post on the blog while Jason packed, showered and played guitar. The plan was to leave by 9am but I was held up when I met a couple from Toronto. They were two ladies who had been together for 13 years and each year they take a trip somewhere new. I spent about 20-30 minutes chatting with them before I realized the time. I told them goodbye and wished them well. They did the same. We threw things into the car and prepared for what we knew would be a long day.